Sustaining excellence by understanding the impact of remote learning

Sustaining excellence by understanding the impact of remote learning

1 March 2021

2021 began with St Mary’s once again transitioning from classroom to online remote provision across Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Following the successes of our approach in 2020, it has been vital to continue to understand the impact of this disruption on learning experience, academic progress and student wellbeing.

At the end of half term, parents across St Mary’s shared their views on remote learning in Lockdown III, via parental engagement surveys. With overall satisfaction levels remaining very high, the survey results indicate that live teaching across our curriculum, alongside continued enrichment and pastoral provision has enabled girls to continue engaging with education – despite facing further disruption to ‘the norm’.

With a core aim to provide an interactive, inspiring learning experience that goes far beyond ‘sitting at a laptop’ – our latest surveys focused on evaluating how well girls have accessed different elements of the provision, including off-screen enrichment days and any additional support they may have needed, both academic or pastoral.

Headline results Senior School and Sixth Form

  • 175 parents responded to the survey, reflecting on their daughter’s experience:
  • 99% experienced a variety of teaching methods
  • 99% felt well supported in lessons
  • 95% knows how to access further academic support e.g. Subject Surgeries
  • 90% knows how to access SEN/one-to-one support
  • 61% had attended a remote club or society
  • 68% had taken part in sport/physical challenges and activities
  • 88% enjoyed off-screen enrichment days

Going forward, based on these results the St Mary’s team have committed to further highlighting opportunities such as clubs and societies. Parents also commented with suggestions on ways to increase student interaction, to combat lockdown isolation and teachers are exploring how to expand ways of increasing collaborative learning activities.

Plans are already in action for another off-screen enrichment day – this time to mark the forthcoming International Women’s Day – in which students will take virtual school trips around the world – with plenty of opportunities for creative, critical thinking and interaction along the way.

“We are very happy with the remote schooling, it is working well and Molly seems to be fully engaged. Learning support remains excellent. Molly is very keen to return to school, but your online provision is simply to use, she works entirely independently which is important as I am working full time. I think in an imperfect world this is pretty much a perfect blend of interactive and interesting lessons. Thank you we are very happy as a family.” Senior School Parent

“Everyone is doing a fantastic job of keeping Rose motivated and learning. She has enjoyed using the computer and is very independent with her learning. Learning support have been absolutely fantastic, patient and kind and have enable Rose to stay on track. St Mary’s definitely have set a good pace of work in the Junior and Senior School. Thank you so much to all the staff.” Senior School Parent

“Online learning is planned and delivered astonishingly well. St Mary’s support/dedication is exemplary.” Senior School Parent

Director of Teaching and Learning at St Mary’s, Kate Latham comments: “We really want to thank all our parents once again for their support and feedback during this lockdown; it really does help us to reflect and move forward. Although there is much talk in the media about learning loss, we are confident that there have been learning gains; students are more independent, resilient and a little braver than before and there is a real opportunity for us to build on this. We really do believe that as a school we walk in loving accompaniment with parents and hope to build on these gains and become a stronger community when many of us return to our ‘bricks and mortar’ school.”

Headline results Junior School

Findings from our Junior School remote learning survey echoed these positive themes.

  • 42% of parents responded to the survey, reflecting on their daughter’s experience:
  • 85% had accessed all academic lessons (live or via a recorded version), with a further 15% confirmed they had accessed ‘most’ lessons
  • 98% had experienced a variety of teaching methods
  • 86% felt well supported in lessons
  • 95% enjoyed off-screen enrichment days (Mary Ward Day and International Charles Darwin Day

Whilst many highlighted that girls were naturally missing face-to-face contact with peers and teachers, 95% felt their daughter was progressing in her learning at home, with a variety of positive reflections on the experience:

“My daughter enjoys the pace at which she can learn and submit her work. She feels that she is listened to by her teacher and that he is always there for her. She feels cared for, appreciated and challenged. She loved dress-up day Fridays.” Junior School Parent

“She has made great progress in managing work independently and gained confidence in Maths and English.” Junior School Parent

“She seems to have settled into the routine of home learning, and is usually motivated to continue with homework/assignments without needing much supervision. From observing the lessons, it is encouraging to see the care that is taken to ensure that all the children are included and engaged.” Junior School Parent

“She is very much looking forward to meeting her classmates and teachers in person. She is making good progress learning whilst at home. We are grateful for the great teaching she is receiving from Mr Taylor”. Junior School Parent

“Thank you for all the work the St. Mary’s staff are doing. We are so grateful we can keep learning and the St. Mary’s spirit alive during these hard and different times.” Junior School Parent

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